The landscape and wilderness often take centre stage in Namibia, but the nation's wildlife is equally compelling. Etosha National Park is perhaps the best place to have an exciting animal encounter in beautiful surrounds, as here you can spot big cats, black rhinos, giraffes, antelopes, and elephants. Stay in a luxury lodge before exploring its 8,500 square miles of grasslands and low bush. Visit the golden beaches of Sandwich Harbour, where giant sand dunes meet the lapis sea, then go north where you'll find the bleached whale bones and seaweed-coated shipwrecks of the famous Skeleton Coast. Inland, mountainous terrain runs through the heart of Namibia, creating stunning sights like the Naukluft Mountains, the Brandberg, Spitzkoppe, Damaraland and the expansive Fish River Canyon, the last of which has to be seen to be believed. Away from Namibia's natural beauty, a series of quirky towns and lively cities await, which like the rest of the country are easy to reach on a self-drive tour. The uniquely situated Lüderitz features German Art Nouveau architecture and distinctly Bavarian cafes. Swakopmund was also founded by German colonisers and continues to serve European-style fare to this day. Windhoek's colonial architecture and lager brewery are distinctly Germanic too.